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The Stressful Challenges of Work:
How to Overcome Them

By Elliot Caleira

If you’re feeling stressed at work, you’re not alone. According to research, up to 83 percent of Americans feel stressed at their jobs, and this stress results in everything from workplace accidents to billions of dollars in losses due to reduced productivity. The facts are clear. Career-related stress is a huge problem.

People get stressed at work for a variety of reasons, and since we all have our own emotional triggers and challenges, everyone is going to be bothered by different things. If work is stressing you out, one of the first things you should do is ask yourself whether you’re in the right position for you. Even if you are in your dream position, you still might be having a hard time, so unless you want to quit, you'll need to learn some techniques for managing your stress levels.

1. Physical Exhaustion

If you do physical labor, you probably expect to be tired at the end of a long day. However, many people don’t realize that sitting in a cubicle can be exhausting too. On top of the muscle cramps and eye strain that come with working at a computer all day, sitting for prolonged periods of time puts you at risk of early death.

The Solution
Rather than letting the physical stress of your work environment dictate your health, commit to taking care of your body. If you work a physical job, be sure to stretch and relax with a yoga routine at the beginning and end of each day. Not only will you reduce stress, but you’ll also increase your flexibility and make injuries less likely.

The same goes for those who do seated work, except you should also consider getting up and moving around every 20 to 30 minutes during your work day. Even better, consider getting a desk that allows you to stand while you work.

2. Competition

There is an aspect of competition in many workplaces, especially in the corporate world. If you’re constantly feeling pressured to outperform your colleagues, you may never relax and take a deep breath throughout the day.

The Solution
Competition doesn’t have to be stressful if you can set boundaries for yourself. Rather than constantly remaining in a stressed state, consider starting each day by determining a set of defined goals for yourself. This will help you accomplish what you need to that day and then let the rest go rather than feeling overloaded by an endless amount of work.

According to successful author and life coach Tony Robbins, progress is the key to long-term happiness. In other words, it’s the journey, not the destination. Therefore, there’s no need to stress yourself to reach that end goal. Try to sit back and enjoy the ride as much as you can.

3. General Overload

Maybe you’re already taking good care of your health and maintaining boundaries between your work and home life, but you still feel stressed and upset while working. As a team lead or a team member finding innovative ways to help relieve some of your workload is crucial. If you're under pressure at work, consider utilizing employee time tracking and other methods for helping you and your team members stick to goals and keep productivity high without promoting further stress.

The Solution
Deep breathing and meditation can be an amazing solution to acute stress. When it’s crunch time, the last thing you will want to do is stop and meditate, but even 30 seconds to a minute of deep breathing can make a huge difference. Focus on breathing through your nose and expanding your abdomen as you pull air in.

If you feel that the above methods won’t help your situation, and you still feel stressed out even after making changes, it might be time to consider rerouting your career path. It’s never too late to make a change, but before you make any big moves, take some time to contemplate what you’d truly like to do.

Elliot Caleira is a freelance writer in the self-mastery and health and wellness spaces. When he's not writing you'll find him cooking or teaching Portuguese classes. More articles by Elliot.

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